Student loan debt is a growing problem for people considering Las Vegas bankruptcy, and the biggest news on that front is that the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans doubled to 6.8 percent, which is where they were several years ago. We discussed the consequences here, primarily that someone starting college this fall and graduating in four years will pay an additional $3,800 over ten years. Although Congress is working to resolve the problem once and for all, such as the recent Senate bill to set adjustable interest rates with a cap, people hoping to reduce their borrowing have some options for reducing their college costs:
- Opt out of needless, hidden fees. Colleges usually require students to designate that they do not wish to participate in certain campus programs, such as the meal plan, on-campus activities, and health plans.
- Similarly, the Affordable Care Act allows students to remain on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 years old. The only caveat is that your campus health center and nearby clinics and hospitals might not accept the insurer, so look into that beforehand.
- Also, decline unneeded services. Some colleges offer laundry pickup and other errand services, but adequate time management obviates the need for these frills.
- Buy (and sell) supplies on the Internet; use the library. Campus bookstores are notorious moneymakers for colleges. If you can, avoid them by buying books online or printing public domain materials off the Internet. See if you can sell your books on the Internet for more than the bookstore offers, and barring that, wait until the next semester or year to see if that class is being offered again to see if the bookstore price goes up or other students are willing to buy for more.
- Scour the Internet for grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid. There are all kinds of organizations that offer financial aid to students of various demographic backgrounds that can greatly defray the cost of college. College financial aid offices can help you find these opportunities.
- It’s tough to say, but don’t overindulge yourself with college partying. It’s a time-honored tradition, but it also costs money.
- Find campus and off-campus work. Work study can pay you for work and hopefully help save.
- At the very least, try to pay interest on unsubsidized Stafford loans while you’re in school. Preventing interest from accruing will save you a lot of money in the long run.
College costs are rising, but there are strategies for mitigating them. Nevertheless, if student loan debt is causing you problems, then talking to an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer can help you assess your options, including filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge credit card debt and free up money for student loan payments.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.